Look, I know I’m an Apple fan boy, but I’m also a pretty savvy technologist and have had more gadgets than I’m comfortable admitting to.
I also like to think I can find my way round most bits of kit without too much reading of the manual. In fact, I really enjoy technology and learning new things.
So I was pleased as punch when I heard of a cheap Android tablet I could cut my teeth on. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve never really been exposed to Android, so the launch of the Commtiva N700 running Android Froyo 2.2 for just £299 was a great excuse to feed my gadget addiction.
My rationale was to explore the beast, get up to speed on Android, write a few blog posts and have some knowledge when conversing about Android on the various podcasts I frequent.
Sounded like a good idea.
When I’d grown weary of the device, I could resell it, or possibly keep it to explore further Android releases.
However, after struggling with doing even the basic functions with the damn thing, I’ve just reset it to factory settings and have returned it for a full refund.
So instead of a full and considered review, I thought I’d just give you some basic thoughts and impressions on the device
- My first impression was that it was rather bulky although I did like the 7″ form factor.
- It came with a decent case which was useful.
- Setup was fairly straightforward and I was able to setup my Gmail account with no problem and connect to my local WiFi network.
- It didn’t take me long to find the market place and download a Twitter client. Not too bad an experience.
- Responsiveness was OK, even with it only having a 600 MHz processor.
- The screen was awful – really low resolution and grainy – just 480×800. Dreadful really!
- The onscreen keyboard was a complete disaster. It would just appear for no apparent reason, and then not disappear at all – very frustrating. In retrospect, I wonder if I had a faulty unit – it was just that bad!
- Some applications seem to be designed and hard coded in portrait mode, others in landscape.
- The camera display is atrocious – terrible quality
- No flash support – eh!
And to be honest, that’s as far as I got!
The first time I switched it off and back on again, which took a few attempts, I couldn’t get past the home screen. An unintuitive screen lock appears but no instructions in the quick start guide on how to unlock it. I ended up downloading the full manual from the internet. It was a slide up on the onscreen lock but I never fathomed it out.
Things went down hill from there.
A couple of times it wouldn’t power on without plugging it back into the mains charger although the battery was at 80%
Everything I tried was an effort.
It was a complete exercise in frustration.
In fairness, it was so difficult to operate in the end that I have a suspicion that it must have been a faulty unit, it must have been!
Eventually, I just gave up.
I feel pretty bad about my lack of progress with the machine. I’ve seen other reviews on the web which seem to indicate to the contrary my experiences but really, I hated it… with a passion!
My only advice would be get one to try it yourself, as long as you can return it.
Would I recommend buying one for Christmas as a gift to someone who wants a tablet….